As expected, Eminem’s Recovery has scored the biggest sales week of 2010, moving 741,000 copies in its first week to earn the Number One spot on the charts this week, according to Billboard. With its debut sales, Recovery is the biggest Number One album since AC/DC’s Black Ice, which sold 784,000 its debut week in October 2008. Eminem also scores the best first-week sales of 2010, bumping out Sade’s Soldier of Love, which moved 502,000 copies its first week. With Recovery, Eminem rebounds from the disappointing first-week sales numbers from his last album, Relapse. “He felt like he missed a lot of people with that record,” the MC’s longtime manager, Paul Rosenberg, tells Rolling Stone. “It was too insular, geared too much to hardcore Eminem fans who wanted the serial-killer fantasies and Slim Shady stuff.”
Eminem rounded up an all-star roster producers and collaborators (including Lil Wayne and Rihanna) for Recovery, which helped broaden its mainstream appeal. The lead single “Not Afraid” debuted at Number One on Hot 100 and the digital-downloads charts while digital sales of “Love the Way You Lie,” featuring Rihanna, cracked 380,000 this week to top the digital singles charts. And for tracks like “Going Through Changes,” producer Emile said Eminem was looking for a big classic-rock chorus, resulting in the use of a sample of Black Sabbath’s “Changes.” “He knew exactly what he wanted,” says Emile. “His sound is maturing a bit, but it’s still some of the best hip-hop being made.” Adds producer Just Blaze, who worked on three tracks: “He told me he wanted to make [Recovery] most accessible, make the songs more focused.”
As Rolling Stone previously reported, Recovery marks the sixth consecutive Number One album for Eminem, who was the best-selling artist of the last decade. The Marshall Mathers LP, The Eminem Show, the 8 Mile soundtrack, Encore and Relapse all topped the album charts their debut weeks. (Eminem also scored Number Ones with the 2005 greatest hits collection C urtain Call and a pair of D12 albums, Devil’s Night and D12 World.) Only Eminem’s major label debut The Slim Shady LP missed topping the charts, settling for Number Two in 1999 behind TLC’s FanMail.
Additional reporting by Evan Serpick.